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Router Bit Types – A Guide to Choosing Router Bits

If you have recently purchased a new router then we are sure you are eager to get going and test out your new tool! As exciting as it is, you need to remember that there are many different types of router bits and you will want to choose the most suited one for the job you’re doing.

There are lots of different considerations including size, shape of the cutting edge and the material it will be used on. This article aims to guide you through the most common router bit types, when to use them and what material they are most suited for.

Common Router Bit Types

Let’s get started on the most common router bit types we sell here at Cutter Shop.

Straight Router Bit

One of the most common router bit types is the straight bit. A workshop staple, this type of router bit is pretty self-explanatory. It cuts straight into the material to form a groove or hollow out an area. You can get straight router bits in a variety of different diameters and lengths.

For example, the 6000 series, single edge O flute straight edge rounding bit is available in a variety of sizes and is designed for rounding the edge of plastic sheets, whilst the 6700 series, 2+2 straight polycrystalline diamond router bit is designed with a solid carbide body for strength and is best used in materials where tool life is a problem.

Flush-Trim Router Bits

Next on our list of router bit types is of course the flush trim style. These bits are used to trim the edge of one material flush with another. An ideal make is the 6600 series, 3 wing slotting cutter. This has been specifically designed for flush trimming materials up to ¾ inch deep and can be used on wood, plastic and aluminium.

Edge Forming Bits

Edge forming bits are perfect for decorative edges. There are different types of edge forming bits such as Ogee bits that cut variations of an s-shaped profile or cove bits that cut a concave quarter-circle. 

Router Bit Types for Materials 

Now that you have learned about the three most common router bit types, we can now discuss material. It is important to use the right tools for the material you are using, or you may damage both the tool and the material. At Cutter Shop, we sell a range of CNC router tools for wood, plastic and aluminium. 

Router Bits for Wood 

Our CNC router bits for wood are designed to work with all types of wood materials such as hardwood, softwood, chipboard and plywood. It is important to use the correct bit type for the type of wood you are using so you don’t break the tool or material.

For hardwood router bits, we recommend using the 12001300 or 1300XP series. The 1200 series is perfect for cutting hardwood when a smooth edge cut is required and where no special considerations are needed whilst the 1300XP is specifically designed for harder to cut materials and provides a good clean finish. 

If it is a softwood CNC router tool you are in need of then the 3100 and 3000 series are perfect. The compression spirals will prevent chipping and fuzzing on both the bottom and top of the cut.

Chipboard CNC router tools need to be specifically designed so that the flutes have an upcut and downcut within them. What this means is that you will get a good top and bottom finish. We advise using the 3100XP or 3200 series for a quality finish.

Finally, if you need a router bit for plywood, then the 1400 or 1500 series will be best suited. These router bits have a chipbreaker spiral which ‘breaks’ the chips into even smaller pieces. This reduces power consumption as well as vibration. The reason you should use a chipbreaker bit is because plywood is a dense material and a higher feed rate is required.

Router Bits for Plastic

Next on our list of router bit types is router bits for plastic. We sell bit types for hard plastic, soft plastic and acrylic to ensure a quality finish. 

For hard plastic CNC router tools you should use the 5600 or 5700 series. This is because they are polished flute cutters that give better chip removal. The polished flute also reduces heat and adds lubricity without the use of coatings, therefore increasing the longevity of the tool.

Soft plastic router bit types should have a 4600 or 4700 series. Both of these series have a single edge low helix spiral that is suited for softer grades of plastic and provides for a fast, clean cut. 

If you are after router bits for acrylic then you should be looking for something with single spirals as this will give a clean finish when cutting acrylics. We recommend the 6100 or 6200 series because they have a free cutting action the provides a better finish whilst lowering noise levels.

Router Bits for Aluminium 

Another common router bit type is for aluminium material. Router bits for aluminium are usually split into two categories; aluminium piece or aluminium composite pieces. For regular aluminium pieces we would use the 5600A or 5800TSA series. The 5800TSA is designed specifically for aerospace aluminium sheet material whilst the 5600A is a more general bit that provides optimal finish for most grades of aluminium.

Our composite aluminium router bits are designed for cutting and folding Dibond / Alucobond and we would recommend the 37-70 or 64-000 series.

CNC Router Bits for Other Materials

Wood, plastic and aluminium are the most common materials that router bit types are used on. However, if you have another material that you are cutting, then you can view suitable series for other materials here.

Signs of Quality

When purchasing a CNC router bit, quality should always be on your mind. Whilst you can’t assess all aspects of a bit when buying such as hardiness and overall balance, you can look out for certain things. When looking for a high-quality router bit you should check for the following:

  • Sharpened carbide cutters
  • Carbide cutters thick enough to allow for multiple regrindings
  • An even brazing (this joins the carbide tip to the bit)
  • Anti-kickback that has more body mass and enlarged bodies 

In general, you get what you pay for. At cutter shop, we provide high-quality CNC router bits at an affordable price. Our range of router bit types means that you will be able to find a router for any job, shape or material. Our CNC router bits are powerful, reliable and high-speed meaning that you will always get a quality finish.

If you have any questions on what is the best router bit types for your projects, then get in touch with our experienced team and we’ll be happy to give you some advice.

View our CNC router bit types

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